Working with Windows Registry – How to Backup the Registry
- Open the Registry Editor – by typing regedit.exe in the search box of the Start Menu.
- Right-click the key you want to backup. For example, if you want to backup HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, right-click on it.
- Click on ‘Export’ in the menu that pops up.
- A new dialog box opens named ‘Export Registry File’. In this dialog box, enter the name of the file you want to create for registry backup. For example, “LocalMachine”.
- The file “LocalMachine.reg” (or whatever name you specify) will be created. This file contains the backup of the key named “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”. Similarly, you may backup “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”, “HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG” etc.
- You can also choose individual keys to backup in a similar way. Or, if you want, you may create the backup of the whole registry in a single file. To do so, click on the “Computer” in the Registry Editor window and click ‘Export’ and enter the filename.
The Registry Backup files (i.e. the files with .reg extension which are created when you backup a key) vary in size. It may be a few bytes/kilobytes or even hundreds of megabytes. When I backed up the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry key on my Windows 7 PC, it took up about 265 MB of space !!!
The next article will show you how to create registry keys using Windows API functions.